The Heart of the Tree

The Heart of the Tree

WHAT does he plant who plants a tree?        
He plants a friend of sun and sky;
He plants the flag of breezes free;
The shaft of beauty, towering high.
He plants a home to heaven anigh
For song and mother-croon of bird
In hushed and happy twilight heard —
The treble of heaven’s harmony —
These things he plants who plants a tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?        
He plants cool shade and tender rain,
And seed and bud of days to be,
And years that fade and flush again;
He plants the glory of the plain;
He plants the forest’s heritage;
The harvest of a coming age;
They joy that unborn eyes shall see —
These things he plants who plants a tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?        
He plants, in sap and leaf and wood,
In love of home and loyalty
And far-cast thought of civic good —
His blessing on the neighborhood
Who in the hollow of His hand
Holds all the growth of all our land —
A nation’s growth from sea to sea
Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.

Henry Cuyler Bunner

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